We took a trip to Vancouver as a mini vacation for our family (the first one we took as a family just to ourselves!) the other weekish ago. It was only for a few days but it was pretty interesting. The most interesting thing for me was battling a terrible cold that mostly left me lifeless and drained. I think that put a damper on the trip in a big way and it kind of sucked. It was really annoying that it happened right at the trip (I didn’t really get better until maybe a few days after getting back and I had it for a few weeks prior..ugh). It was pretty annoying because by 4pm I was clocked out. Oh well. Also annoying, it killed my taste buds- I couldn’t taste anything, even though the texture appeared amazing and fresh- especially the last sushi joint we hit up.
Flight wise, it was terrible- H didn’t settle in and nap until an hour into the flight….and the flight was an hour and twenty minutes. So landing was awesome because she woke up angry and irritable for only having 20 minutes of sleep. I managed to bring my WH1000X M2 headphones on the flight and generally I was pleased with how they handled the aircraft engine noise. However, I did notice that I still had some sound and this was a bit of a surprise. Perhaps it was my cloudy expectations of its noise canceling abilities having only tested them out on the engine noise demos in store and with my speakers- obviously those just don’t compare to the actual engine. Still good.
One of my highlights was the Vancouver Aquarium- I really loved the diversity they had on display there- lots and lots of different displays that were simply amazing. It was also incredibly extensive and well worth the entrance fee. Much much much better than Marine Land in Niagara Falls the last time I went (which was mostly just amusement park stuff). I really loved the electric eel – it was hooked up to a Christmas Tree so you could actually see the electricity lighting up the tree from the eel. Very neat. I also loved the Canadian coast displays. One of the displays that really caught my eye was the arctic area- seeing how these creatures thrived in absolutely frigid temperatures was pretty neat. The food in the cafe was expensive and terrible. I also yelled at a kid in the kid play area after I noticed that kid bullying H and a few other kids (primarily relational bullying)- I really had to restrain myself to try to keep my bullying research knowledge from making me go papa bear on H immediately, but then I had to.
We did some shopping in Aberdeen Mall and it was a blast- mostly because the food court was filled with interesting restaurants that were right up my alley (and a huge departure from the franchisee cookie cutter places in most malls these days). Lots of independent restaurants with a wide range of tastes. I got to see the Mercedes Benz in mall store and was pleasantly surprised by the interiors of the B-class and GLC, which I haven’t traditionally been as fond of. They looked great, especially the budget B-class. I was also not surprised that the agents working inside did not address me at all- a bit snotty really, but I suppose that is to be expected at a store like that. I don’t think I would ever get the B-class (an economy Mercedes just sounds stupid really), but its neat to see that even its budget line up looks decent inside. I think I would rather have a top trim Honda at that price like a touring Civic (even the rear seats are heated!). I was pretty blown away by the parking lot in Aberdeen Mall- everything was German, with even a Lambo (unsure what, I don’t follow Lambos). Our rental Camry stood out like a sore thumb there. I also was pretty disappointed with the Camry. After getting really hyped over the new Camry’s interior, the interior of our previous gen Camry was just bleh. Not particularly better than the Corolla. Anyways, I digress. Lots of neat cars.
I really loved the food in Vancouver- my absolute was a warm pineapple bau with a stick of butter inside. Just crunchy rich buttery goodness. My favorite meal was driving 45 minutes with H screaming, to get to a downtown mall that had a Uniqlo inside….only to eat at the food court and have ten minutes to shop at Uniqlo. However, my food at the food court was really really good. It was a beef stew on rice dish that was hearty and gigantic and absolutely perfect for my style.
I really loved Vancouver’s downtown district aside from having the chills and hating the outside because of my cold. It was incredibly glamorous there, and a clear distinction from Edmonton’s downtown district. Much more people out and about just hanging, whereas Edmonton’s downtown is mostly people on their way to something and GTFO afterwards. Nobody hangs out Edmonton downtown. The fancy hotels were also really impressive, at least from the outside, as were the ridiculous high rises which Edmonton is just starting to get. I also loved all the glam shops even if we don’t shop at them like the Gucci store. Just cool to see.
I actually ended up taking my WH1000X M2 cans everywhere because they were really fun to listen to- but because I had a tiny shoulder bag, they really killed the interior- and it made me regret passing on the WI1000X I found earlier. Subsequently I managed to get a pair of the WI1000X when I got back to Edmonton so that became a moot point. Bluetooth headphones in the bag are super useful when you are just out and about shopping and suddenly find free time for yourself (whereas most of the time I have papa bear ears on listening for the wail of my child). I debated going to Headphone Bar, but to be honest, I haven’t really been interested in cans in sometime, since I managed to find my holy grail MDR-SA5000s this year.
We mostly hit up places that W couldn’t find locally like Daiso, Miniso (really not impressed by this Chinese knockoff of Japanese stores), and Uniqlo. I didn’t really find anything for myself, but did get a nice blue blazer from Uniqlo (the cut is really fantastic) and I did pay full price because I love their blazers quite a bit, especially for work attire.
I learned a lot about traveling to Vancouver- mostly I learned that traveling with a child is really really challenging, or that I have a lot of work to do before I feel like I actually know what to do when traveling with a child. On top of the usual fuss of the kiddo while being away from home, we also got flagged at the airport security because our baby formula set off the freaking drug detectors and they had to do a full search on W. And didn’t find anything. Except that our baby formula stinks.